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Vitamin B supplements help to prevent Alzheimer's

Published on 14/09/2011

Patients with private health insurance who are worried about contracting Alzheimer’s disease should take a vitamin B pill once a day from middle age to protect their memory.

Researchers at Oxford University carried out a study on 270 pensioners suffering from the slight memory lapses that can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s. The pensioners were asked to take a vitamin B tablet once a day for a year, or given a placebo pill instead.

The results, presented at the British Science Festival in Bradford, showed that the people with higher levels of homocysteine who took vitamin B performed 70 per cent better on a memory test than those who took the placebo.

Homocysteine is a natural compound that builds up in the body as we age and can be linked to memory loss and Alzheimer’s. It is broken down by vitamin B, bolstering episodic memory, the type needed to remember things such as shopping lists.

The pill used in the trial contained extremely high levels of vitamins B6, 9 and 12, and cut brain shrinkage linked to memory loss by an average of 30 per cent. Those with the very highest levels of homocysteine who took vitamin B were less likely to have progressed towards Alzheimer’s at the end of the study.

Currently, over 800,000 Brits are affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia, but this figure is expected to double as the population of the UK ages.

People should consider taking high-dose vitamin B from middle age, but only after seeking doctor’s advice since high dose vitamins may trigger cancers. However, the results are the ‘first glimmer of hope’ in the battle against Alzheimer’s.

If you are concerned about quick diagnosis of Alzheimer's, choose a health insurance policy which offers full cover for diagnostic tests and scans. You can get quotes and compare health insurance quotes live on our site now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Health
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